CHICAGO (Feb. 16, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams have unveiled a bold new away Nike kit that features a stylish gradient design.
The WNT will introduce the kit when it travels to Portugal for the 2015 Algarve Cup from March 4-11, and the MNT will wear the kit for the first time on March 25 against Denmark.
The new away jersey features a unique gradient graphic on the front and back of the jersey, beginning in white at the shoulders, before a blend of light rays gradually evolve to dark blue at the hemline. Along each side of the jersey is a wide white stripe that extends to the shorts.
The jersey also boasts a new signature streamlined, clean and modern V-neck collar that blends with the shirt’s gradient graphic, and features a red triangle insert at the front to ensure all three of the USA’s national colors are represented in the kit.
Inside the back of the neck is a pennant tab featuring 13 red and white stripes to represent the original colonies that declared independence and formed the first states.
Players’ names and numbers on the back of the jersey appear in a specially-designed font that is modern, angular and directly influenced by U.S. college and varsity sports.
The new away shorts are dark blue with the white stripe along both sides that sync with those on the shirt.
The women will wear a new gradient away sock that matches their jersey – dark blue with a wide tonal stripe of chevrons on the calf at the back. The men will wear a dark blue sock without the gradient design.
While the new kit features Nike’s signature style and passion, it has also been designed to offer players the very latest in performance innovation, kit technology and environmental sustainability.
Nike’s kits are made of recycled polyester and have been created to provide both unrivalled performance benefits and a lower environmental impact. The kits are made from recycled plastic water bottles. The shorts are 100 percent recycled polyester; the shirts are 96 percent polyester, while the socks are 78 percent. By using recycled polyester Nike is also reducing the energy consumed in the entire process by up to 30 percent.
Nike Dri-FIT technology draws sweat away from the body to the exterior of the jersey and short where it can quickly evaporate. This allows players to perform at their absolute best by remaining cooler, drier, and more comfortable. Laser-cut ventilation holes and mesh panels featured in key areas of the kit also improve performance by increasing air circulation to the players’ bodies, helping to regulate body temperature.
Despite being North American neighbors, the first meeting between the United States and Mexico actually took place on the other side of the Atlantic. Played on May 24, 1934 in Rome, the game was a one-off match – essentially the USA’s first World Cup qualifier – for the right to play in the second FIFA World Cup, which was set to kick off days later in venues across Italy.
Playing in front of 10,000 spectators, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the Americans rode a four-goal performance from Aldo “Buff” Donelli to defeat Mexico 4-2 and earn a place in the 16-team field at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.
You would hope the 11 players that came away victorious that day cherished the memory in Rome, because as big as the result was, it would take another 46 years before the USA would defeat Mexico again.
Though 17 of those 24 matches were played on Mexican soil, that winless streak against our neighbors to the south is by far the longest against any one opponent in team history, both in terms of number of games and years,. It fortunately ended on Nov. 23, 1980, when the U.S. used a pair of goals from Steve Moyers to defeat Mexico 2-1 in another Qualifying match, this time for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
With Mexico already booking its ticket to the next round of Qualifying and the USA already eliminated, from a competitive standpoint, the match was meaningless. However, whether or not they realized it, the 2,126 fans in attendance at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium witnessed history that night, and to this day are among the few Americans that saw the USA’s 43-year winless streak against Mexico come to an end.
Though the USA and Mexico met only once more during the decade, the dam had been cracked. With 1990 marking the MNT’s first appearance in the World Cup in 40 years, the 1980s also served as a transitional phase in the rivalry with Mexico as a new generation of American players began to reap the benefits of greater emphasis on the game here at home to lay the foundation for future triumphs.
The first in a series of successes came during the semifinals of the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Led by former Mexico head coach Bora Milutinovic, the USA used second-half strikes from John Doyle and Peter Vermes to stun El Tri 2-0 in front of a pro-Mexico crowd of 41,103 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and went on to win the tournament’s inaugural title.
WATCH: USA Defeats Mexico 2-0 in 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup SemifinalRead more